The Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) is receiving $2 million from the governments of Canada and Manitoba to purchase new equipment for applied grain research.
Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced the funding on Friday. It’s part of both governments’ larger commitment of $20 million over five years to a “Grain Innovation Hub” in the province.
“We welcome this significant investment from the federal and provincial governments which shows their recognition of the value of the grain industry in Manitoba and the work that we do here at Cigi,” said Cigi CEO JoAnne Buth in a news release. ”It allows us to purchase equipment that will substantially enhance our applied research activities in support of farmers, industry, and the entire value chain.”
According to Rex Newkirk, Cigi’s vice president of research and innovation, the funds will be used to purchase more than 20 pieces of equipment used for sorting, processing and analyzing grain.
“We are very excited about the work that this investment will allow us to do,” he said. “This gives us the opportunity to purchase, for example, equipment such as a Swedish-manufactured Bomill which involves near infrared transmittance (NIR) to sort grain in order to improve its quality and grade, a Mixolab used to test samples of flour for dough characteristics, and a cooking system that will enable us to expand our work with pulses. This wide range of equipment will give us a huge opportunity to add value to the crops we work with.”
Here are some examples of equipment that Cigi will be purchasing with the funds (courtesy Cigi):
- BoMill TriQ (commercial scale) – The BoMill makes use of near infrared transmittance (NIT) technology and sorts downgraded grains into different fractions to improve quality and grade. This large-scale unit will be used to test and demonstrate the commercial application of this technology in the Manitoba environment. This can assist producers in improving the grade of their grain and therefore their economic returns by removing downgraded material in their samples.
- BoMill – A lab-scale version of the Bomill Tri-Q that can sort smaller amounts of grain.
- NIRS for flour mill – NIRS (Near Infrared Spectrometer) is a rapid way to measure the quality of wheat, flour and/or semolina quality. NIRS can provide information on moisture, protein, ash and other quality parameters typically in less than one minute which allows for rapid changes to milling parameters in order to optimize and monitor flour/semolina quality. Staff will be able to monitor quality as the mill is running.
- Grain cooking system – The cooking system is a pre-treatment method that pre-cooks seed and flour samples prior to food manufacture. This equipment will allow Cigi to conduct applied research on the pre-treatments of pulse crops for the purpose of improving flavour and functional attributes of these ingredients.
- Extensograph-E – The Extensograph is used to measure the extensibility and elasticity of dough. Both of these properties provide an indication of the quality, or strength, of the gluten which is an important parameter in common wheat.
- Rondo Sheeter – This sheeter is used to sheet dough for the production of pastries, rolls, pizza crusts and other sweet baked goods. The addition of this equipment allows Cigi to expand its baking capabilities.
- Quad Jr. Mills – These mills are used for milling of wheat into flour when sample size is extremely limited (100 g. or less) as typically seen with breeding lines. Cigi’s capability for milling small quantities of wheat is limited so this will allow Cigi to undertake the testing required on behalf of wheat breeders.
- Mixolab – The Mixolab assesses the properties of dough during mixing, and is used to measure the protein and starch quality of wheat and pulse flours.
- Ferkar Mill – A one-stage mill suitable for the milling of pulses and other crops that is efficient, simple to use, and will improve the reproducibility of test and processing results. It will also increase capacity and allow for better process control (input and output).